Beach Boy still delights the crowds

An Audience with Brian Wilson - Ipswich Regent - Sunday 29th JuneCarlsberg don't do tribute bands, but if they did then they would probably sound a lot like the band that supported Brian Wilson at the Regent on Sunday night.

An Audience with Brian Wilson - Ipswich Regent - Sunday 29th June

Carlsberg don't do tribute bands, but if they did then they would probably sound a lot like the band that supported Brian Wilson at the Regent on Sunday night.

In fact the story goes that the Beach Boy heard their tribute act at a club and was so impressed that he asked them to tour with him.

It says something for the pulling power of the Regent that they can attract a star as big as Brian Wilson, but needless to say the crowd turned out in force and were treated to a trip down memory lane and a fantastic party.

During the first half of the show the band, led by Brian, rattled through 15 songs, winding the crowd up and charging the atmosphere.

Starting with “California Girls” and “And then I kissed her”, through the ballads “Surfer Girl” and “In my room”, to the ever popular “Do you wanna dance”; and of course the crowd did.

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These were iconic sounds that were so evocative of a time long ago when things were much simpler. Songs about girls, cars and surfing, and when nothing else mattered.

By the last song of the half, “Do it again”, the crowd were really loving it and I have to say it's one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced at a gig.

Brian Wilson is not the greatest of singers, in fact most of the time his voice needed backing support; it's just that he wrote such great songs. It was a warm evening outside and baking hot inside, exactly right for this type of music.

In the words of football pundits, it was a show of two halves; the first full of three minute slices of classic pop and the second packed with the longer, later Beach Boys classics that allowed the band to show off their harmonising skills. And they were absolutely spot on, with the arrangements so close to the originals.

The mini opera that is “Heroes and villains” was a particular highlight as were “Sloop John B” and “God only knows” which Brian says is his favourite song that he has written.

By the time they played “Wouldn't it be nice” the whole crowd was on its feet and dancing. The 11-strong band finished the set with “Good vibrations” which went down a storm.

There was no way that they were going to escape without an encore and in fact they managed two. Blasting their way through “Help me Rhonda”, “Barbara Ann” and “Fun Fun Fun”. In all they played 35 tracks. Now that's value for money.

As I left the theatre at the end of the evening with the last strains of “Surfin' USA” still ringing in my ears, all I could think of was waxing down my surf board and heading for…..Felixstowe!

Mark Westall